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the other soprano

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Yesterday was not a fun day. There was a lot of sobbing and 'I can't do this anymore!' Today is a little better. I haven't felt like writing in a couple of weeks and I thought maybe this blog had run its course and it was ok. I was tired of thinking about depression, thinking about myself, and my life, and what course it was supposed to take...oh, the dullness of it! But I've run out of distractions for the time being. I have half a wall full of fucking mandalas I've colored and I don't feel like coloring anymore. Don't get me wrong. I haven't been sitting in my apartment coloring and pondering existence for weeks and weeks while occasionally pushing myself to go to a yoga class. There is nothing that I want more than to get back to some semblance of normalcy. I tried to get a waitressing job some time back, and it was too soon. Ill timed actually. Third shift landed on Father's Day brunch of all days, in a 'kid friendly' establishment.…

some highbrow stuff

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'Leo Tolstoy.'

I did a double take. What?

'Leo Tolstoy.'

'Don’t bother her Cesar,' said a staff person. It was late and the common room was almost empty.

'No, no, that's ok,' I said.

'Not Tolstoy,' I closed the book showing the cover, 'Jane Austen.'

Cesar made as if to sit next to me, hesitantly. I offered the chair. I wasn’t revulsed by the toothless mouth, the oily hair, the soiled clothes. He reached for my book and I didn’t care that he was touching it even though underneath each of his fingernails was black unidentifiable matter.

‘This painting…’

‘I don’t know what the painting on the cover is.’

He was mumbling.

‘Leo Tolstoy is my favorite writer,' I said. My eyes were fixed on his face.

‘Anton Chekov,’ he said weakly. His voice was raspy and weak and he spoke inwardly, half opening his mouth. There were long pauses in-between words and sentences.

‘Yeah, he’s one of the greats too. And Dostoyevsky. I love Dostoyevsky,…

roommates

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On the third day I saw not one but two beds being dragged into my bedroom.

I had barely come to accept the situation as it was, the chaotic common room, the other patients, the feeling of incarceration, the lack of stimulus, no possibility of sleep, and only being able to see the people I loved for an hour or so a day except on weekends, not to mention the food. I had started going to the groups, which I found mildly helpful considering everything. I needed to talk and share so that was good, but I had little in common with anyone else except for Jamie, and we didn't go to the same groups often because his were addiction focused. Almost anything anyone else said made me cry. Keema, a young girl in her teens or early twenties, light brown skin, kind face, 'I have schizophrenia,' and whoever was leading the group, 'and how do you know that?' and her quiet, shy response, 'I talk to myself.' Done, tears. When it was my turn, I pathetically attempted to get thr…

on body image

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When Dr. Larrabee asked me to elaborate on why I didn't feel my life was worth living anymore I had the answer ready. Plain and simple, I failed in my career. And then the other thing, the one I mention like an afterthought because it's embarrassing. And, um, I hate my body too *shrug*. What woman doesn't right? I feel like an idiot. I'm too smart for this. I'm a feminist goddammit. And yet...

The picture on the right is of me at I think age 14. The picture on the left is of me at age 29, at the heaviest I've ever been. Together, they are an illustration of my failure. My parents and I did everything we possibly could to keep me at age 14 size. Actually no. At age 14 I was already dieting maniacally and deep into hating my body. That cover up I'm wearing brings back memories. I wanted to hide my thighs even at the beach, already. I guess we were aiming for age 12 size? That was around the time I was sent to fat camp the first time. I ate 500 to 1200 cal a …

jamie

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I found Jamie! Or rather, he found me. I sent him an email not too long after I was discharged. He had snuck a little envelope into my bag just as I was leaving, which made Nurse Ratched (yeah, we called her that, it's not very original but it was fitting) glower and feel compelled to admonish me 'You can't visit anyone in here after you leave.' I told her, not to worry, I had no plans of ever returning to this place for as long as I lived.

In the envelope was a card with 'Thank You' on the front. Inside, it said: 'Diana, I want to express my extreme gratitude and admiration for your kindness and warm heart. You listened to my words with such compassion during our stay at "the spa". You made me feel at peace and helped me more than you'll ever know. Thank you for sharing your stories, your laughter, and your amazing and beautiful talent with me. You are an inspiration. Thank you from the bottom of my <3. XO Jamie.' He also gave me a pi…

sad curtains

I spent two days locked up in the psych ER. Finally a bed opened up somewhere and I was transferred to a hospital. It was Friday late afternoon, pouring rain, and the EMTs covered me in a sheet so I wouldn't get totally soaked while they lifted my stretcher onto the ambulance. I can walk but that's fine if you want to carry me, thanks, just let me smell the rain.

Everyone's off on the weekend. No doctors. That's how it took me four whole days before I met the psychiatrist that would actually be overlooking my treatment.

Dr. Larrabee looked almost concerningly young and was easy on the eyes. Refreshing, that. Not an attractive group, the lot of us in the ward. Even the better looking ones had seen better days, with the exception of Jamie, but I'll get to him later. You can't have make up unless you smuggle it in. Maybe one lipstick. The nurse that inspected my make up case (brought by D.) deemed the mascara a possible liability. I suppose I could attempt to pier…

ester

Ester was batshit crazy. At night she banged doors and yelled, making impossible requests of the staff. After she calmed down she walked around in laps in the hallway. She took tiny steps dragging her tiny feet so you could always hear her passing by your bedroom, the door left ajar for the person doing rounds to be able to check in throughout the night. Ester was the one who woke me up most consistently. There she goes again, making a row. Racist white guy would complain in the morning and I could hear him across from his room, Spanish bitch, why are they keeping me here etc. Because you're crazy too dude, we’re all mad here. I think Ester was bipolar because one time, it must have been 4 AM, she was doing one of her crazy shenanigans and they were trying to medicate her, and I heard her screaming, ‘NO! NO! NOOOOOO! Lithium no! No the lithium! No the lithium!’ Things I observed: bipolars hate taking lithium. Then she was crying, and not to make a scene. I could tell she was cryin…